I got waitlisted at Wharton in R1 and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been reading your blogs and I know that you say people can reach out and update their application while they wait to hear back, but you also say that Wharton does not want you to do that. So… is there anything I can do?
First things first: congrats on getting waitlisted. Yes, congrats. Because that wasn’t an outright ding, which, as I’ve said in all those blogs you’ve been reading, means that Wharton likes you… they just aren’t 100% sure yet.
Of course, getting accepted is always the preference, but Wharton isn’t done with you yet. And that’s a very good thing.
So… what can you do? Well, you’re right – unlike many other b-schools that accept updates to your application, Wharton doesn’t want you contacting them or sending them much of anything. But that doesn’t mean you just have to sit there and wait around.
What you can do is get another LOR. Find someone who hasn’t written a recommendation for you and put them to work. If that someone happens to be a Wharton alum or someone who is somehow connected to the school, even better. And that person should write about things that the other recommenders missed. A different story, a different situation… something that shows a different (and impressive!) side of you that the adcom hasn’t seen yet.
This is a nice way to get around the “don’t contact us” rule at Wharton because, hey, you’re not contacting them! And who are you to stop that Wharton alum for sending over a glowing recommendation about ya? But seriously, it won’t hurt to have someone else reach out and add a little somethin’ somethin’ to that app.
There’s no guarantee this will get you off the waitlist, of course, but it’s better than sitting around and hoping for the best. And in the meantime, get to work on some other applications and keep your options open. There’s still plenty of time for some later R2 deadlines (Haas, UT, Cornell), not to mention European programs. If you eventually get into Wharton, great! But it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. You know… that whole eggs in one basket thing.
Good luck out there and keep us posted on where you end up!
— Jon Frank
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